Healthier choices throughout the day: #BeActive Workplace Award nominee Center for Handicap

09/09/2021 By Maria Malyshkina, ISCA

This year’s #BeActive Workplace Award nominee from Denmark aims to create an active community of clients and staff where everyone can participate on their own terms. Lolland’s Center For Handicap, a specialised public organisation with various offers for young and adult clients with physical, mental and social disabilities, believes that mental health and active lifestyles are important prerequisites for a good working environment. 

“When we – the employees – experience satisfaction at our work and have fun, it automatically has a spill-over effect on our work with clients,” says Matilde Frimann Clausen, social educator at the Center For Handicap.

The Center for Handicap consists of 250 social workers and 250 clients. Every day both groups have opportunities to make healthy choices. The clients are offered several different activities each week: a walking/running club, a cycling team, jumping fitness, swimming, strength training at the gym or even collecting garbage in the city. It is also possible to take individual dietary guidance and participate in healthy lifestyle courses such as ‘Healthy Cooking School’.

Meanwhile, the social workers, having been inspired by the project ‘More Active Workplaces’ in which they were able to participate in various activities twice a week for half an hour during working hours, decided to integrate physical activity further into the organisation. Thus, a team of health ambassadors was created – represented by an employee from each team, who receives funds to arrange activities for their colleagues during working hours. The Center for Handicap took inspiration from Firmaidrætten (Danish Federation for Company Sport) by arranging a health webinar and an inspiration day where the health ambassadors could try out different activities.

The staff also has a gym which they can use before and after work. For those who like to train together, jumping fitness is arranged once a week. Moreover, Center for Handicap participates in the nationwide Count Steps campaign, competing who will do more steps during the week.

In June 2021, Center for Handicap won the award as the healthiest workplace in the Zealand region.

At the Center for Handicap everyone is able to participate on their own terms. Some prefer high-intensity activities, others want to go for a walk with their instructors, friends or co-workers. Making the employees role models for integrating healthy habits and activities into daily routines and behaviours is central to the Center’s philosophy. 

“We believe that when you see other people being active during working hours, you feel like participating. By letting everyone participate on their own terms and believing in ‘better show than tell’ when it comes to motivating others to be active, we see that both employees and clients engage more willingly in the activities,” explains Matilde Frimann Clausen.

Watch the video about Center for Handicap on the TV2 Channel here

The #BeActive Awards is the European Commission’s recognition of outstanding work and commitment at local levels to promote sport and physical activity in Europe. The competition is an integral part of the annual European Week of Sport. One of the three categories is the #BeActive Workplace Award, which celebrates innovative ways to encourage employees to combat sedentary lifestyle and #BeActive at their workplace.

The International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA), as the National Coordinating Body for EWOS in Denmark, is entitled to submit the Danish nominations for the #BeActive Awards. ISCA collaborates with the Danish Federation for Company Sport to identify the Danish nominee for the Workplace category.